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FREE

July 2019

l l a H . B V. who re n a m tu One d the fu pe sha

Our The Flat Tire Gang Rolling on together

A Child’s Charity Giving is the gift

Fireworks on the Fourth Find the show to set the holiday aglow

A MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO SOUTHWEST MISSOURIANS Connection Magazine | 1


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Connection is published monthly and distributed free in Cassville, Monett, Exeter, Washburn, Pierce City, Mt. Vernon, Aurora, Verona, Roaring River, Eagle Rock, Shell Knob, Purdy, Wheaton, Freistatt, Marionville, Seligman, Golden and other surrounding areas. Connection is a publication of the Cassville Democrat, The Monett Times and Rust Communications.

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Joining with our friends and neighbors to CELEBRATE

Our NATION’S INDEPENDENCE... Remembering all who have sacrificed for our Freedom!

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DISTRIBUTION Greg Gilliam Kevin Funcannon TO ADVERTISE 417-847-2610 - Cassville 417-235-3135 - Monett Send email inquiries to connection@monett-times.com Mailing address: P.O. Box 40, Monett, MO 65708

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Edi tor’ s not e

“The great revolution in the history of man, past, present, and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.”

18

-John F. Kennedy

What does it mean to be free? We who are fortunate enough to live in America can say that we enjoy our freedom. And indeed, we have been blessed with many brave soldiers who have provided freedom for us. But freedom comes with a high price tag! Many young American soldiers have purchased our freedom with their ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives to protect ours. Freedom is worth fighting for and hopefully this generation will continue to produce those who will rise up to this high standard that has been passed down from our forefathers to secure America’s freedom and safety. All of us are recipients of a great heritage and blessed to live in this beautiful part of the country, but we should never

4 | July 2019

take this for granted and let it be lost because of apathy. Ronald Reagan said this: “I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics­–as government expands, liberty contracts.” Our freedom is priceless, and we are able to celebrate it to our heart’s content this Fourth of July. So fly our flag high, shoot off your fireworks, enjoy a good barbecue with your family and friends, and rest assured in the fact that there are many in our country who are well prepared, strong and able to go to battle for us if needed. Enjoy this issue of Connection magazine and have a happy summer!

CONTENTS 12 Recipes: A tasty Fourth 15 Healthy Connection: All in avocado 31 Pam Wormington: Love Is In The Air

33 Rescued, My Favorite Breed 35 Cutest Pet

43 Parenting Column: Summer starters 49 Cutest Kid

50 Familiar Faces

55 Community Calendar

56 Connection on the Go 58 Parting Shot

Have an idea for a story you would like to see in Connection Magazine? Email it to connection@monett-times.com

Facebook.com/MyConnectionMo Twitter.com/MyConnection_Mo


J U LY 2019

6 | STAR SPANGLED SHOW The Fourth of July sky in southwest Missouri will be aglow with celebration of liberty

18 | V.B. HALL HONORED A founding forerunner of modern Monett is recognized for 100 years of community involvement

6

24 | SINCLAIR ROGERS REMEMBERED

Fireworks kicked off just after 9:30 p.m. at the annual Fourth of July celebration in Seligman in 2018.

Cassville native with a spirit of adventure captures life in timeless pictures

36 | THE FLAT TIRE GANG Local biking group encourages bicycling for all ages

40 | WHATTA WATER TOWER Appearing as a rocket in the sky in Pierce City, there’s more to the monolith structure than what meets the eye

45 | A CHILD’S CHARITY

36

Ayden Boarder, 9, of Monett withstands the fashion norm in favor of donating his long, golden locks for a cause

The Route 66 ride entering Missouri that also traveled through Oklahoma and Kansas.

FEATURES

Connection Magazine | 5


When independence

erupts

More than 100 people gathered at the CCC Camp in Shell Knob to watch the annual Shell Knob Fire and Thunder Fireworks display on July 4, 2017. 6 | July 2019


Fireworks celebrations to see July 4th

The finale of the Shell Knob Fire and Thunder Fireworks display offered a prime video opportunity as the explosives lit up the sky on a humid July 4, 2017, night.

Seligman | Eagle Rock | Shell Knob

I Isaac Hendrix, 6, of Washburn, stayed cool by playing in the splash pad at the annual Fourth of July celebration in Seligman in 2018. Story and photos by Jordan Privett

ndependence Day 1776: the second day of July, in a closed session of Congress, it was voted to approve the resolution of independence. Afterward, attention was turned to the Declaration of Independence, which was debated and revised until its final approval on July 4, 1776. The following year, July 4, 1777, 13 gunshots were fired in the morning and in the evening to celebrate the legal separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain. For 243 years, the citizens of the United States of America have gathered together to celebrate July 4, as Independence Day. Family, friends, food, parades and forever booming fireworks light up around the country in support of the land of the free. Independence Day is celebrated by communities all over the county, and in the southwest corner of Missouri the traditions for July 4 have taken a life of their own. Connection Magazine | 7


SELIGMAN The city of Seligman proudly offers its residents a family fun day with music, food and a bright fireworks display. Cleta Stanley, Seligman Chamber secretary, said the chamber hosted the event for many years, then, six years ago, teamed up with the city to provide the celebration. “The city handles the fireworks and entertainment and the chamber offers free food for the patrons,” she said. “We need to celebrate our independence and be thankful for our veterans.” Stanley said the chamber offers hotdogs, polish sausages, drinks and chips to the community during the celebration. “I want our community to continue to pray for our country and be thankful that we are free,” she said. Brian Nichols, Seligman city clerk, said there is usually a great turnout for the fireworks display in Seligman. “We will hold it at the City Hall on July 4 this year, as usual,” he said. “It is free of charge for people to come see the show, the show usually runs about 2025 minutes, but we have more fireworks this year than we did last year.” Nichols said the city is happy to provide the community with a fireworks display. Michael Avers, Seligman mayor, said the Seligman Independence Day celebration is a time for families. “The whole town comes together as a family,” he said. “Independence Day is a time to celebrate freedom that our military provided for us and that God gave to us.” Avers said the Flyin’ Buzzards will be coming in to play music for the people. “Last year, it rained, and although it was difficult, it was a blessing to see all the people come together,” he said. “Hopefully, this year, the weather will be with us.” 8 | July 2019

The Flyin’ Buzzards, 2018

EAGLE ROCK Eagle Rock has been celebrating Independence Day with its community for more than 10 years. Mark Pierson, Eagle Rock, Golden, Mano fire chief, said the plan for the day is to start off with BBQ. “We will have barbecue brisket and pork sandwiches with all the trimmings,” he said. “We will start that at 11 a.m. and continue through 7 p.m.” Pierson said the pricing on the meal will be determined when the cost of the meat is set. “Then, we have the fireworks display at dusk,” he said. “We set up on the southeast corner of the Eagle Rock bridge.” Pierson said the celebration is to take place on Saturday, July 6, and the rain day is set for Sunday, July 7. “There is no charge for the public to come see the fireworks,” he said. “We do this every year to bring everyone together and enjoy the Fourth of July.” Pierson said the celebration brings family and friends together. “We get hundreds of people here,” he said. “Both sides of the campground are full of people.” Pierson said when the company that is hired to set off the fireworks radios

him, the fire department set off their sirens to let everyone know it is beginning. “It means a lot to us at the fire department to be able to put this on for our community,” he said. “It is all done by donations, and the community really steps up for this great community event that brings everyone together.” Pierson said he feels like the people that make donations for the fireworks display are proud to do their part for the event.

SHELL KNOB Shell Knob takes a special turn on the Independence day celebration by having a water show. Twilia Harrison, Shell Knob chamber director, said Shell Knob has provided its community with a fireworks show for more than 40 years. “We have used A M Pyrotechnics, LLC, for 17 years,” she said. “The event has been going on for longer than the chamber has been around so it has become a tradition for the people of this community.” Harrison said because it has been going on for so long, and it is different because it is seen by water, it is really well known. “It is a gathering of all these boats, and it is an amazing tradition,” she said.


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You know Ken’s Collision as The Area’s Finest Collision Repair and Glass Facility, and now Ken’s is proud to offer Professional Auto and Truck Detailing. Our experts bring back that New Car Feeling inside and out, cleaning and polishing your vehicle with the same attention to detail that we give every car and truck we repair. Just another way we work for you, the customer, to make sure your car is fixed right, to Factory Specifications with the right parts, by highly trained technicians.

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“This year, we are also doing the ‘Let Freedom Ring Boat Parade,’ and that is at 11 a.m.” Harrison said there are prizes for things like the best decorated boat, and it is about an hour long event. “It is also the 60th anniversary of the lake and the bridge,” she said. “Our Fourth of July shirts this year are a tribute to the bridge.” Harrison said she always wants to give acknowledgment to the veterans because the country is independent. “The event is scheduled for July 4, and for the fireworks people usually show up before dark and the fireworks display starts at dark at about 9:20 p.m.,” she said. “It will be bigger this year, but it usually lasts about 25 minutes.” Rusty Rickard, Shell Knob fire chief, said the fire department works with the chamber and handles the permitting and the water patrol to keep everyone safe. “We like to be involved with it,” he said. “It brings a lot of people to our town and everyone supports it really well.” Rickard said to have an event like this on the lake is truly amazing and beautiful. “We are blessed in this area to have a lot of veterans,” he said. “To see them in our community and be able to shake their hand and thank them for their service is great.” Rickard said to see third and fourth generations of families coming back to Shell Knob for events like this is what builds a tradition. “To see the fireworks display on the lake with the bluffs, stars and booming noises is one of the most beautiful things,” he said. 


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Awesome Pasta Salad INGREDIENTS 1 (16 ounce) package fusilli (spiral) pasta 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1/2 pound provolone cheese, cubed 1/2 pound salami, cubed 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni, cut in half 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained 1 (4 ounce) jar pimentos, drained 1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing

DIRECTIONS Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, salami, pepperoni, green pepper, olives, and pimentos. Pour in salad dressing, and toss to coat.

Key West Chicken

Dave’s Low Country Boil

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon lime juice 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

DIRECTIONS In a shallow container, blend soy sauce, honey, vegetable oil, lime juice, and garlic. Place chicken breast halves into the mixture, and turn to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

1 tablespoon seafood seasoning or to taste 5 pounds new potatoes 3 (16 ounce) packages cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces 8 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed 5 pounds whole crab, broken into pieces 4 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

DIRECTIONS

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.

Heat a large pot of water over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add Seasoning to taste, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, and sausage, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Discard marinade, and grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side, until juices run clear.

Add the corn and crab; cook for another 5 minutes, then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Drain off the water and pour the contents out onto a picnic table covered with newspaper.

12-Second Coleslaw INGREDIENTS 1 (10 ounce) package angel hair-style shredded cabbage 2 tablespoons Thousand Island dressing 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1 pinch salt 12 | July 2019

DIRECTIONS Stir cabbage, Thousand Island dressing, rice vinegar, hot sauce, and salt together in a bowl with a fork until evenly mixed.


r eci pes

All American Trifle INGREDIENTS 3 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 cup white sugar 1 quart heavy cream 1 (3.3 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix 1 (6 ounce) container lemon yogurt 2 tablespoons coconut-flavored rum, or to taste, divided (optional) 2 (16 ounce) prepared pound cakes, cubed 2 pints fresh blueberries, or as needed

DIRECTIONS In a bowl, sprinkle the strawberries with sugar; stir to distribute the sugar, and set aside. Chill a large metal mixing bowl and beaters from an electric mixer. Pour the cream into the chilled mixing bowl, and add white chocolate pudding mix, lemon yogurt, and about 1 tablespoon of coconut rum, if desired; beat until fluffy with an electric mixer set on Medium speed.

Spread a layer of pound cake cubes into the bottom of a glass 10x15-inch baking dish, and sprinkle the cubes with another tablespoon of coconut rum. Cover the pound cake with a layer of strawberries; sprinkle blueberries over the strawberries. Spread a thick layer of whipped cream over the berries. Repeat the layers several times, ending with a layer of strawberries sprinkled with blueberries and reserving about 1 cup of whipped cream; top the trifle with dollops of whipped cream to serve. Refrigerate leftovers. Connection Magazine | 13


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h e alt hy co n nect i on

ALL ABOUT AVOCADOS Avocados are the darling of the produce section. They are actually a fruit because they meet the criteria for a berry, having a fleshy pulp and seed. They are the go-to ingredient for guacamole dips at parties. They are also turning up in everything from salads and wraps to smoothies and even brownies. So what, exactly, makes this pearshaped berry such a super food?

Nutrient All-Star Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy). Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. Avocados are low in sugar. They contain fiber and fat, which help you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three hours.

Fat and Calories

How to Keep them from Browning Prevent leftover avocados from browning by sprinkling lime or lemon juice on the exposed flesh, sealing it tightly with plastic and keeping it in the fridge. This slows the oxidation process, which causes the unappetizing brown color.

Avocados are high in fat, mostly monounsaturated fat, which is a “good� fat that helps lower bad cholesterol, as long as you eat them in moderation. Due to their high fat content, avocados are high in calories. The recommended serving size is smaller than you would expect: 1/3 of a medium avocado (50 grams). A third of a medium avocado has 105 calories.

How to Prepare Avocados

Store avocados at room temperature, keeping in mind that they can take 4 to 5 days to ripen. To speed up the ripening process, put them in a paper bag along with an apple or banana. When the outside skins are black or dark purple and yield to gentle pressure, they are ready to eat or refrigerate. Wash them before cutting so dirt and bacteria are not transferred from the knife onto the pulp. When ordering at a restaurant, remember that not all avocado dishes are created equal. Some items like avocado fries and avocado egg rolls are coated in batter and fried, making them much higher in both calories and fat.

KATELIN KELLEY recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and is currently in the Cox College Dietetic Internship Program. She loves to learn new topics about nutrition and is excited to become a registered dietitian to help others meet their nutritional goals.

Connection Magazine | 15


Happy

Ways to Add Avocado to your Diet

4th of July! from the employees

• Add to scrambled eggs • Add it to toast • Make guacamole • Add it to salads or soups • Use as a topping on tacos, sandwiches, hamburgers

at

• Put it in a smoothie – gives a nice, creamy texture! • Use it in salad dressing • Puree and toss with pasta • Use as a substitution for oil/butter in baked goods

Avocado Brownie Recipe INGREDIENTS 901 E. Hwy. 60, Monett 417-235-BANK (2265)

1 ripe avocado, cubed 2 eggs ½ cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ⅔ cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking powder

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

444 S. Rinker, Aurora 417-678-BANK (2265) www.cnbbanking.com

1-800-255-4194

In a blender or food processor, combine avocado, eggs, honey and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Combine the wet and dry mixtures and fold until a batter forms. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 inch baking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

16 | July 2019


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Monett Chamber of Commerce 417-235-7919 Connection Magazine | 17


A century of good will

F

ew businesses in the history of a town continue a full century. In Monett, only The Monett Times has been able to claim that distinction, though ownership of the company has changed four times. The name of Viga Burns Hall reaches that plateau in July. Known today for the V.B. Hall Antique Warehouse on Main Street in Monett, V.B. Hall himself had a most active and venerable career as a businessman and community leader. In the modern world of supermarket chains, grocery stores as big as entire city blocks and big box retailers, it’s hard to imagine V.B. Hall’s world. Here was a man based in Monett who built an enterprise out of wholesale food produce sales, operating in multiple states, becoming such a mover of food products that his business filled 40 to 50 railroad cars per month in its heyday. Like most small town stories, Hall started on a small scale. His father, Francis Marion Hall, came to what would eventually become known as Monett around 1859 and farmed on land that eventually became the Monett railroad yard. He fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy and moved back to Monett in 1893. An enterprising fellow, Hall used trees on his land to build around 50 houses in his own subdivision, developed a lumber mill west of Lincoln Avenue and County Street, and in 1897 started a grocery store on the southwest corner of Third and Broadway. That building still stands.

Photo excerpt of V.B. Hall in The Monett Times special tribute to the city supplement on Sept. 30, 1942. 18 | July 2019

Story by Murray Bishoff


Viga B. Hall, born in 1892, started in the family business when he was old enough to deliver groceries in the horse-drawn delivery wagons of the period. At age 23 in 1915, he bought out the people to whom his father had sold the grocery store. He sold it again in 1917 to serve in World War I and went to Europe as a quartermaster. Returning to Monett, V.B. decided he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. In July 1919, he founded the V.B. Hall Company. The original name was “Hall Commission Company Wholesale Fruits, Candies and Vegetables.” He opened the produce wholesale business on the corner of Fourth and Front streets, across from the Frisco Railroad freight building. Hall’s plan was to buy in quantity and resell to those who could only afford stocking their neighborhood grocery stores. In 10 years he had outgrown the facility. He moved in 1929 to South Central Avenue and Main Street, to the great relief of his mother, as the original site was sandwiched between two bordellos, according to family history.

V.B. Hall is pictured in a truck outside his business’s first location at Fourth and Front streets.

V.B. Hall company marks 100 years in Monett “V.B.’s early produce wholesale business required many hours,” recounted family friend Rod Anderson. “He would start as early as 3 a.m., going to Joplin and Springfield for produce supplies, which he brought back to Monett and sold to grocers and vendors around the Monett area. The 1929 building he built was a large expansion and located next to rail track for produce deliveries. This rail operation would service his business well for 40-plus years.” As the business grew, Hall acquired Lawson Jeffrey’s coal yard to the east of his building, and a gas station on the northwest corner of Central and Main, owned by Leroy ‘Dink’ Jeffreys. In time he would develop those spaces as well.

Connection Magazine | 19


“During the building of the new building, V.B. had invested his life’s savings in stocks,” son Viga said. “In July and August 1929, he talked to the builder and agreed on a final price. So V.B. sold all his stocks in August and September 1929 to pay for the project. In October of that year, and within 90 days of selling his stocks, the ‘Great Stock Market Crash of 1929’ occurred, which would have rendered his stocks close to worthless.” Despite the Great Depression, V.B. kept growing his business. He provided service across all of southwest Missouri, expanding to 2,500 active accounts in stores, schools, hospitals and dining establishments. “V.B. expanded his product line to over 1,500 items,” son Viga said. “This was no small feat in that he alone did all of the buying for the company.” As the economy gradually improved, the company added larger storage rooms to ripen bananas. This process required using a particular gas and required much of the owner’s attention. World War II created new challenges when products became rationed or subject to price control. A lack of availability of gasoline for the company’s fleet of trucks required constant attention, as did reports to the government on the products marketed. In this period, V.B. managed to expand as a produce broker, selling product by the truck load or railroad car loads. “By 1947, V.B. Hall Wholesale was now leasing all of the cold storage spaces

The V.B. Hall Wholesale business in 1937 at Central Avenue and Main, where the firm moved in 1929, now the offices of Main Street Feeds.

in Monett and surrounding towns,” said his son. “He also leased all of the cold storage spaces in the state of Michigan. He now had all of the apple growers’ production for Michigan under contract. All of the brokerage business required moving large lots around the country from coast to coast.” After the war, V.B. purchased the Ramey’s supermarket chain in Springfield. He also opened two retail markets in Joplin. In 1949, V.B. erected a new building west of his main headquarters for the Central States Wholesale Grocery. He closed that in a couple years and moved his entire operation into the new site,

taking advantage of the railroad spur for making deliveries. This is where the V.B. Hall Antique Warehouse is today. The company business expanded to a 120-mile radius around Monett even adding the distribution of frozen foods for retailers and institutions in the 1960s. Monettans naturally noticed V.B.’s successes, and turned to him for community leadership. He was elected mayor in 1938, 1940 and 1942, then the city council changed the term of office to four years, and he served from 1944 to 1948. He used his friendship with Senator Harry S. Truman to secure more WPA funding for streets and sidewalks in Monett, finishing the work started in

The V.B. Hall Wholesale business in 1953 at Main and Euclid, loading railroad cars. V.B. is at the center of the dock next to the truck.


V.B. Hall’s last photo on July 15, 1974 at age 82, with an ear of corn from the garden of his home at Cleveland Avenue and Fourth Street.

As chairman of the War Bonds drive, V.B. Hall is in the back seat of this parade car with MHS homecoming queen Charlotte Ferguson, in a car driven by Floyd Callaway with M.E. Gillioz in the far front passenger seat.

the worst days of the Depression, when the channel for Kelly Creek was dug by hand. In a 1940 visit when he stayed at the Hall home, Truman commented on how Street Commissioner George Baldridge got the most out of the federal money received. With Hall’s urging, Truman secured more funds for Monett. The years after the war became pivotal for the future of the community. V.B. was the first to bring news that the Frisco Railroad’s conversion to diesel trains would mean the end of the Monett roundhouse as the maintenance yard for steam engines. That alone would transform Monett’s economy. He threw his business knowledge into the discussions by business leaders who sought new industries to replace the employment base. Just as he had been one of the biggest buyers of War Bonds during wartime, V.B. threw his weight into the fundraising drives by the Vincentian Sisters to build a new and better hospital in Monett, expanding twice in a decade. He served for 12 years on the Monett school board, headed the local Red Cross and held the chairmanship of the board at the First Christian Church. He had been one of the young men who were charter members of Monett’s American Legion Post after World War I. This community activity continued to be noticed. When Lewis Skaggs resigned as mayor in 1963, the city council enlisted V.B. to fill the vacancy. He successfully ran for election in 1964, serving 15 years in all, in three different decades, a record to this day. Hall would not have been one to take credit all his achievements all on his own. The support of his wife, Audrey, the daughter of prominent Purdy physician Dr. B.B. Kelly, would have received accolades from him, as would the support of friends like First National Bank longtime president W. Vance Davis, one of the most progressive and unsung heroes

Connection Magazine | 21


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of Monett’s development, and business colleagues like Bill Medlin, V.B.’s longtime manager, to whom V.B. sold the company when he retired in 1970. He passed a chance for glory, when Democratic Party leaders came calling in 1951 in search of a candidate for governor, opting to stick to his family and his community. The V.B. Hall Antique Warehouse, now owned by Rod Anderson, whose father and uncle worked for V.B., marks its 24th year this summer, continuing to keep the name in the public’s eye. In April the Monett Historical Society unveiled a monument to Hall at Fifth and Broadway, acknowledging his contributions in seven areas. The Monett Museum will share his memory as well through the recent donation of his World War I uniform. A century leaves a lot of footprints. Those of V.B. Hall left an impression of prosperity and growth on the town around him, a foundation for all who come after him. 


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Connection Magazine | 23


A man for all seasons A painting by Sinclair Rogers’ father, Will Rogers, showing artistic tendencies ran in the family.

Sinclair Rogers on a trip in Egypt, always taking pictures.

24 | July 2019

S

ome people become so familiar, seen around town year after year, that they become fixtures. Others become familiar through what they do—never idle, always busy. These are the extraordinary ones, remembered for what they do and how they become woven into the fabric of the community. Sinclair Rogers was one of those. He played such a part in town that he truly became a Man for All Seasons. Born in Monett in 1924, the grandson of prominent Monett attorney Fielding Sizer, he came back to Monett after military service and a stint running a family company as a photographer. He built his contribution from that, and his role in the Monett Lions Club, active into his late 80s. “He was a good artist,” said Jane Rogers, his wife for 45 years whom he married in 1967. “He wanted to be a cartoonist.” Sinclair’s father, Will Rogers, had been a painter. One of his cubist paintings hangs in the family home, as do two large illustration boards in Sinclair’s hand, rendering scenes in the style of Milton Caniff, the “Steve Canyon” artist whose work Sinclair idolized.

Story by Murray Bishoff


Sinclair Rogers’ professional portrait, a calling card as a photographer.

“One Christmas his mother gave him a little camera,” Jane continued. “When he served in the Philippines in World War II, he took lots of photos of locals.” Photography was just a sideline until 1962, when his family sold Forest Products in Cassville. Sinclair earned a degree in business administration at the University of Missouri to run the company, but without that, he found himself at loose ends at age 34. While at MU, he had taken photos for the yearbook and contributed to the college magazine “Show Me,” where he met “Beetle Bailey” cartoonist Mort Walker, who remained a lifelong friend. With that background, Sinclair opened a photography studio in Cassville in 1962. In 1965, Bill Daugherty, the long established Monett photographer, chose to retire and offered to sell his studio to Sinclair, who accepted. From 1965 to 1994, Sinclair became a familiar face in Monett, photographing everything, from school pictures and weddings to Vice President George W. Bush in his 1988 visit to Monett. “People still come up to me and say, ‘He did my wedding,’ or ‘He took

a photo of me in school,’” Jane said. “They always say nice things about him. He worked 24-7. We hardly ever had a free weekend. One year, he did 35 weeks of weddings, sometimes as many as three a day. I finally had to put a stop to it. It was so tiring. He did over a thousand weddings. “Weddings were his favorite thing. He said, ‘Everybody was happy.’ I had a cousin who was a funeral director in a family business that went back five generations. One day he sold it all and bought a restaurant in Springfield. He

said, ‘I want to be with happy people. All my life, people have been unhappy.’ That helped me understand why Sinclair did what he did. Everybody liked him. He was just a nice person.” It was Sinclair’s style to go all in on whatever he did. He entered his photos for judging at state and national conventions. Jane recalled he got high ratings on his landscapes and did well on his portraits, though the standards judging portraits were so high that those who received top marks—masters—did nothing but that.

Connection Magazine | 25


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“I think he was a master anyway,” Jane said. “He knew the rules. He described linear perspective, especially in portrait photography. They don’t adhere to that much now. When they did the ratings then, you had to go by the rules.” At one point the adult education program through what had been the Southwest Area Technical School, now the Scott Regional Technology Center, asked Sinclair to teach an evening photography class. “He came home the first night and said, ‘Well, I can see why you like to teach. I just love it.’ I said, ‘Yes, therein lies your secret. You had 10 people who actually wanted to take the class, who really wanted to learn, who listened and tried to retain it, and you got paid.’ He never knew what it was like to have 30 or 40 in a classroom. He was a good teacher. He knew a lot about everything.” He taught the night class for many years.

Some of Sinclair Rogers’ early cartoon work, a field he first pursued before discovering photography.

Sinclair Rogers with one of the locals in Korea in 1945 that he later used in portraits for competitions.

Photography also became another vehicle through which he could share with others. He and Jane traveled extensively, and Sinclair would take hundreds of photos on each trip. “When we traveled, it was hard work. When we were in Israel, he went around and shot pictures. Every shot was a planned thing. Even to get good exposures, he’d have to have settings set by the gray card. One day we spent the whole day as part of an archeological dig, digging with a spoon. He always picked the hard things to do on vacation. He really, truly loved it.” When he returned home, Sinclair

weeded his photos, mostly taken on slides, into presentations he made for community groups. Jane called these “primitive PowerPoints presentations,” using two projectors, phasing in and out of shots, and adding music. “We’d show them to service clubs or whenever he was asked,” Jane said. “He had so many programs. He did one we showed all around, of the four seasons with scenes around the Monett area. A lot of people saw those.” One of Sinclair’s legendary programs, the one on Monett’s history, created for Monett’s 1987 centennial, was reconstructed with the original Connection Magazine | 27


music for a presentation in March at the Monett Historical Society. The program will likely be available in the future on DVD. Jane said she has all the slides from the shows, including those culled from initial presentations, that she hopes to present to the Historical Society at a later date. While he lived in Cassville, Sinclair was recruited by the Lions Club. “Once he got into something, he never gave up on it,” she recalled. In the Lions, Sinclair decided he would go for perfect attendance. On their travels, they would look for Lions Clubs. “Once we were in the Caribbean on an obscure island,” Jane said. “The first thing we’d do would be to scout it and look for a Lions Club. There usually was one. If they weren’t having a meeting, he’d take a picture of the building. That would be counted as a meeting. He always covered all their functions. He did a series of pictures of all the apple butter making when the Monett Lions started doing that. Jim Orr organized it where they had five kettles cooking at once. That made the national Lions magazine.” Sinclair celebrated 60 years of perfect attendance shortly before his death. “He wanted to go as far as he could [in the Lions],” Jane continued. “He

Sinclair and Jane Rogers with his Porsche 28 | July 2019

Sinclair Rogers, camera in hand, on a trip to Dublin, Ireland. went through the cabinet stations, the district, then district governor. If you started three Lions Clubs, you could be a 100 percent governor. He sponsored the start of the Lions in Freistatt, Shell Knob and Halltown. At one time, Shell Knob was the largest club with the most members in the state, and Freistatt, because of the Ernte Fest, was the richest. He was proud of that. He got as high as he could in the state and had international recognition.” In like manner, Sinclair had joined the Masons when he was younger and became a Shriner, like his father. He was a member of the Abou Ben Adhem Temple in Springfield and the York Rite. Sinclair was also asked to take on a leadership role with the Monett Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. He became part of the honor guard at funerals, carrying the flag, something he could do without worrying about his hearing failing to pick up commands. “I became a bugler when they needed that,” Jane said. “Sometimes we would go do funerals in terrible weather, and have to stand around for an hour or two. He really liked that. He thought that was a great honor.”

Never one to stop exploring, Sinclair took up motorcycling at age 50. He liked collecting things with his name on it. He bought a vintage Sinclair Oil gas pump that he had cleaned up and placed in the family kitchen. He designed his own headstone at the IOOF Cemetery in Monett and liked to take friends out to see it. Jane added a ledger in front with a long list of his accomplishments. She said she will have to get another stone for herself, because his headstone is full. In the six years since his death, Jane has picked up additional interests in horses and horse racing, and has three dogs to keep her company. The house she and Sinclair had is filled with his photos on the walls, memorabilia from their trips together, his favorite photos. Sometimes, when a friend calls, she’ll say she’s just “hanging around the house with Sinclair,” not in a morbid way, but she said his presence is still very much there. “Not having him around is what I miss the most,” she said. “I try to keep busy, but life is not the same. He was just a gentleman.” She agreed he was, indeed, a Man for All Seasons. 


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‘LOVE IS IN THE AIR’

gu est column

E

arly on in our marriage, I decided to embrace the ‘farm wife farm life.’ I thought I needed my own pet. One that would love me just as I am, hang out with me, miss me and listen to all my struggles. You know kind of like a best friend with fur. I thought it was a miniature horse that would satisfy this search, but apparently small in stature doesn’t equate small in price. Economan wasn’t really seeing the need or the profitability in this purchase, but wasn’t opposed to the pet idea, so he found me a miniature mule, half the size and half the price. It was so sweet; Valentine’s Day was close and he took me to a farm and introduced me to this little girl who was about 5 years old and love was in the air. We bought her and brought her home. I named her Cupid. It wasn’t long before we understood that what she lacked in altitude she made up for in attitude. My Romeo asked me to never tell anyone that he paid money for who he un-affectionately referred to as Stupid Cupid. But I loved her. I really think he and her had a power struggle. He thought he was bigger and she proved she was stronger. She was pretty smart too, she would stick her head through the fence, grab a bucket and bite the lid and shake her head until the lid came off and all the horse treats fell on the ground.

‘Stupid’ Cupid made her last walk down memory lane

For years she followed me around, especially if I had food. She and I would lie in the pasture, and I would tell her my troubles. Her big ears would listen with no judgment and she always had a warm kiss for my cheek. She loved a good brushing, a spritz of fly spray and a pedicure. Thanks to my friend, Laurie we even painted her hooves with pink glitter. I could tell she felt like a diva and she loved a good selfie. She wore reindeer ears, bunny ears

and let little kids sit on her back. The key word in that last sentence was ‘little.’ She was not a fan of adults on her back, but her bucks were little and if you straightened your legs, you could just stand up. She was a good girl! Even though she was not able to have little ones of her own, she took on the mothering instinct with any orphan calf that was put in her care. I remember one particular day, she

PAM WORMINGTON

Connection Magazine | 31


was standing by the fence next to house and would whinny for me. I would come outside pet her and return to my chores inside. She’d begin to whinny again and thinking that she just missed me, I would go back outside and pet her again, we’d have a little conversation and then I’d return to my task. This went on several times when I realized I didn’t see the little calf that she was responsible. I began to look all over the field and down the lane, to which she was right behind me each step of the way.

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When I got to the gate, I crawled under it, and to my surprise she began to pace back and forth with angst. I opened the gate, and off she trotted to the woods, shortly she returned and the little calf was with her. At that point the rancher began to see her purpose. She loved hanging out with the yearling calves especially when they would be turned out to green grass. She thought she was a wild mustang running and kicking and hanging out with those the same size until they were separated at which time, her head would go up, ears would go back and she would begin to pace the fence. After 19 years of roaming our ranch, as with all of us, her hair began to gray and she didn’t kick and buck like she use to, but that didn’t change her attitude or ability to listen or be loved upon. I recently found her in bad health and unable to carry out the life she loved here on the farm. My heart hurt from the arrow that had been shot through it by Cupid. After a few days of trying everything I could including sitting in the dirt holding her head in my lap and looking into her big brown eyes, I had to make a decision. I might add I don’t get paid enough to make these kinds of decisions and when the vet showed up and compassionately got down on our level and explained the diagnosis and options, I proved that by stomping off in my rubber boots proclaiming something to the sound of “I wish I’d never left my corporate job.” I went to the barn to get Cupid’s pretty purple lead rope and took her for her last walk down memory lane. I think about that saying “it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” That doesn’t bring much comfort to me right now, but I do think there is some truth to it. If I’d never met Cupid I wouldn’t have these fond and funny memories. I’m certain other pet owners feel the same.


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FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES

A

nother great American holiday is just around the corner, Fourth of July, with barbecues, carnival rides and fireworks, what fun! But please remember that your pets may not be as enthusiastic about these celebrations as you are. Dogs and cats are more sensitive to noise and may panic. More pets come up missing during the days around Fourth of July than any other time of the year. All shelters are aware that this is a potentially dangerous time for pets and that there will probably be more residents after the Fourth. They try to be prepared, but this year, all of the shelters have had an unusual number of requests to take in animals. FFAA receives an average of 100 requests a week to take in cats/kittens and at least 25 requests to take in dogs. In addition, the weather has been difficult, for example, the Miami, Oklahoma, shelter flooded during recent storms and many of the shelters, including Faithful Friends in Neosho and the Joplin Humane Society have taken in animals to help with the 88 displaced dogs and cats. Ft. Smith, Arkansas, recently voted to withhold funding to the humane society and will go back to euthanasia instead, what a shame! Flooding in Missouri and surrounding states has put additional burdens on local shelters. I understand that most shelters are currently at maximum capacity for dogs and cats.

For more information on any of the Faithful Friends animals or to volunteer, go to www.FFAANeosho. org, contact us on Facebook, or by calling the adoption center at 417.592.2512. We always need volunteers, and we always have adoptable dogs and cats!

If you are ready to adopt a pet, please consider these at Faithful Friends: All shelters desperately need volunteers and fosters. Volunteers, and especially foster parents, can make such a difference in a pet’s life and can actually determine whether a dog or cat becomes adoptable. One of FFAA’s dogs had been adopted several times and unfortunately, returned. The reason? He would become very protective of his owners, so that visitors were not his favorite thing. At the shelter, we all knew Guinness as a happy and friendly dog, who was able to play with many of the other dogs. Katie, one of our team leaders, just knew that he had the potential to overcome his fears and protective behavior. She and her husband decided to foster Guinness, and the progress has been wonderful. He is becoming relaxed around others, is learning to play, is no longer fearful of anything inside or outside of the home and is even becoming friends with a cat! Yes, it took a lot of patience, and the right combination of love and discipline, but according to Katie, it is all worth it. We agree. CHRISTA STOUT

MACI

is a very sweet girl that needs time to get acquainted with you and lots of room to run. She prefers outdoors but has also been known to be a loving couch potato. She has various sleeping positions that will make you laugh out loud. She loves chickens, so it is best if you and the neighbors don’t have any. Maci loves being outside, even during the worst rains!

LEA

is a very shy girl that will hide until she realizes she can trust you and then she doesn’t want to leave your side. She will take a special person that doesn’t mind a challenge to work with her trust issues. She has never been aggressive, just a little fearful. She is one of our volunteer favorites.

Connection Magazine | 33


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• Keep them in a safe and escape-proof room when fireworks are set off in your neighborhood. Although you might consider it fun to have them in your backyard for the barbeque, the noise is very scary and the fireworks themselves potentially hazardous. Panicked pets will try to run away from the noise with sometimes, disastrous results. Don’t forget to have a picture handy, just in case they do get away, and keep their IDs up to date – this might be a good time to get your pet micro-chipped – July 1 is ‘National ID Your Pet Day’. Many lost pets are returned to their owners thanks to the micro-chip or current ID tags. • Many of the foods served at barbecues are not suitable for dogs and cats. Keep them on their normal diet; onions, spices, sweets and unusual foods can cause intestinal problems or diarrhea, especially in older animals. I probably don’t need to say this, but please don’t allow them access to alcoholic beverages. • Don’t allow pets close to unlit fireworks, citronella, or glow jewelry, these may create serious health hazards for them. Keep them away from sunscreen and insect repellant not intended for use on pets.

If you are interested in fostering, please contact Faithful Friends at 417.592.2512. Remember, all food and vet care is provided when fostering, all the foster parents need to bring is patience, love and caring, and sometimes transportation for vet care, immunizations, etc. For details, please see the application at www.ffaaneosho.org.

34 | July 2019


cu t est pet Two-year-old Shorkie, Toby. Lives with his family Chad, Vallerie, Lana, Kason and Luke Steele in Fairview

toby

If you think your furry or feathered friend is the cutest in the area, let us know! We invite you to share a photo of your pet to be featured in Connection’s Cutest Pet contest.

Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your pet’s name, city of residence and your contact information.

Email your pet’s photo to:

connection@monett-times.com Connection Magazine | 35


On a trip to Colorado on vacation, riding while there. From left: Dondi Bass, Ken Hopkins, Dawnata Hopkins, Valerie Eden, Larry Eden.

Yep Davis on the family vacation in South Dakota, at Mt. Rushmore.

The

Flat Tire Gang 36 | July 2019

S

tep on a bicycle and go. It’s a simple pleasure, the kind that animates a person from a young age — the wind in your face, the body in motion. It’s the kind of experience people deprive themselves of, or get the notion that they’ve outgrown it. Not so, says the Flat Tire Gang. The Monett-based group of bicycling enthusiasts are bringing back the fun, every week, combining it with needed exercise, companionship and getting outdoors. Their Tour de Monett, just held on June 22 usually on the third weekend in June - adds in the added boost of philanthropy, as proceeds from entry fees are donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Story by Murray Bishoff


The ride of your life may be around the corner Now in their 13th year, the Flat Tire Gang started out as a group of riders from EFCO Corporation who decided to share their enthusiasm by riding together. They gravitated toward the biggest of area runs, participating in the MS 150, a two-day event, and thus threw their support into that charity. The group also realized, said spokesperson Latricia Davis, that for others to enjoy a big experience like that, it might take baby steps to reach that level. So they began hosting practice rides for the MS 150, then developed their own ride, changing the route from time to time, taking riders to Purdy, Verona, Freistatt and Pierce City. Now they also meet twice a week to ride, leaving from the Monett Area YMCA. Anyone is welcome. For the less experienced, the ride starts at 6

The group on the way to the Hangar Café near Miller, a day trip for the group. p.m. on Thursdays for a shorter distance. Those wanting to stretch their legs a bit more ride on Mondays, leaving the Y at 5:30 p.m. “I always tell people if they’re unsure, come and join us on a Thursday evening,” Davis said. “We won’t leave you behind. You’ll see you can do more than you think you can. It’s all about getting out and getting started. You don’t have to do long distrance. It’s amazing how good you can feel after just 10 miles, getting out and getting fresh air.” Getting out on the road has other benefits, away from the bustle of the town. “Just to see the scenic beauty, and the adventure of doing something like that,” Davis said. “It’s very peaceful. You get to clear your mind. It’s good

for your body. Physically it’s a challenge, but you always feel better after you ride. “The first ride is the hardest. You start out small, one mile at a time. Not everyone likes to do long distance. The Thursday night ride is for those who want to do smaller distances. The Monday night group does 25 to 30 miles. Thursday nights are around 15 miles, at a much slower pace. You can do anything at a slower pace. It’s important to remember it’s a ride, not a race.” Davis recommended every rider needs to have a helmet and some basic equipment for the biking equivalent of a day trip. This includes water or Gatorade, extra tire inner tubes, some basic wrenches to take a tire on and off, some kind of prying tool in case a tire needs coaxing to come off. She noted in case

Connection Magazine | 37


Thursday night group open to all.

of a breakdown, people are inclined to stop and help. “You may want a GPS system,” Davis said. “Usually organized rides have marked routes. Some like a GPS system in case they get lost. Some also carry an odometer to tell them how far they’ve gone, and something to measure speed. You need a way to air up tires - either a pump or CO2 cartridges. Band-aids are always good.” Another constant concern is weather. Davis advised taking along sunscreen or something with long sleeves that could be rolled up into a back pocket in case of cool temperatures, or a rain jacket for more inclement occasions. A few in the group ride year-round. They add gloves and a jacket to their supplies, and a careful eye for ice on the road. “You always hope for the wind to be at your back,” Davis said. “It’s usually in your face.” Some hazards are predictable and can be addressed by planning ahead. “Dogs are always a challenge, big and small,” Davis said. “It’s the one thing people fear. Usually if you yell at them, they’ll back off. You may need to squirt a water bottle at them. “I carry an extra bottle of water to pour on my head in the heat. Sometimes you can wear a cooling rag around your neck.” 38 | July 2019

Different locations like these offer some unusual hazards. “I ran over an iguana once, when we were in Key West. They bask along the trail. One ran out in front of me. Dawnata [Hopkins] ran over a squirrel once. Last week when we went riding, we saw several turtles on the road. We dodged them.” Riding trails offer predictably accommodating conditions, away from concerns about road gravel or a rail-

road crossing or cars. Davis pointed to three major trails. The Frisco Trail starts around I-44, eight miles from Willard, and runs from Springfield to Bolivar. The Razorback Greenway in northwest Arkansas runs from Bella Vista to Fayetteville, and is paved the entire distance. The Katy Trail runs across the state, from Clinton to St. Charles, north of St. Louis. “On long rides or vacation trips, you can go from hotel to hotel,” she continued. “You can camp - I’ve never camped. You want to carry snacks. You can get really hungry. On a day ride with rest stops, you don’’t need to take snacks. If you’re riding in an unsupported event, you need snacks with you. There’s not always a place to stop and eat. It’s nice if there’s a bathroom. Sometimes there’s not.” A number of avid riders in the group take their bicycles on vacations and major trips so that they can work in rides as part of their experience. Da-

The group took a break at a ride’s destination, the Hangar Kafe near Miller.


vis and her husband, Dep, have gone to South Dakota to ride on the George Mickelson Trail, winding through the Black Hills. They also rode on the Paul Bunyon Trail in Minnesota. “A couple of us have gone to the Florida Keys and ridden from Key Largo to Key West,” Davis said. The Flat Tire Gang at its core has a group of stalwarts. In addition to the Davises, there are Valerie and Larry Eden, Dondi Bass and Dawnata Hopkins. Bob and Debbie Berger often ride with them when in town. Bob Berger hold preeminence in the group from completing a coast-to-coast ride. “A group of us did the Big Bam across Missouri the first year they did it,” Davis said. “It was the Bergers, the Davises, Bob Black and Mike Gaines. We rode up north. They do a different route each year. We started at Rock Port [northwest of Kansas City]. The final day of that got rained out. This summer we’re getting ready to go to Pittsburgh, Penn., to go to Washington, D.C.” Some in the group like to stay in shape during the winter by going to spin class at the Monett Area YMCA. Two in the group, Dondi Bass and Larry Eden, also serve as spin instructors. Davis encouraged people interested in riding to discard preconceived notions of who are bicyclists. “There’s definitely a wide range of ages,” she said. “I think we had a couple who started in fourth grade. We’ve got riders well into their 60s. Often the older riders have more experience and are better at it. All kinds of people ride, not just little skinny people. It’s for everybody.” Updates on weekly rides, including cancellations in case of bad weather, are available on the Flat Tire Gang’s Facebook page. 

Riders preparing to leave on the 2018 Tour de Monett from Monett High School.

BIG BRUTUS On the Gorilla Century Ride to Pittsburg, Kansas, held in August. One of the rest stops was at Big Brutus, one of the largest digging machines ever used in the area. Pictured are, from left: Dep Davis, William Hughes and Latricia Davis. Connection Magazine | 39


Reaching to the

I

sky

f you drive north on Elm Street in Pierce City, after you crest the hill and before you make the first of two 90-degree turns, you will pass a landmark that is one of the great curiosities of southwest Missouri. Standing about 80 feet tall and shaped like a rocket — it’s a water tower. Believed to date from the early 1890s, and possibly even earlier, it may be the oldest water tower in southwest Missouri. No other standing municipal water tower looks like it. Standpipes like it were some of the earliest water tower designs. This water tower is built in 15 sections, each five feet high, the sections connected with two rows of 29 rivets on each side, and a single row of rivets on top. At the back of the tower is a round cover, attached with bolts and screwed down with nuts two inches wide. Pierce City was founded in 1870 and drew on a well at what is now the city’s South Park for many decades. Records show that by the turn of the century, the city had a very effective water system, and an unheard of 70-pounds per

40 | July 2019

Story and photos by Murray Bishoff


Pierce City’s ancient water tower still carries mysteries

square inch of water pressure downtown. Former mayor Carol Hirsch believes that when the water main was built under the middle of Elm Street to reach houses on the hill, the water tower was there. The run of Pierce City newspapers prior to 1910 is incomplete, leaving many holes researchers cannot fill. A fire in the late 1940s in downtown Pierce City damaged much of the block between Walnut and Locust streets. Almost all the city records prior to the fire were lost, leaving many unanswered questions and origin stories unrevealable to this day. The city used the water tower, attached to well No. 1, into the early 1990s. Then a plum of benzine infiltrated the water table tapped by the well. All attempts to trace or stop the benzine failed, so the city abandoned it. As wells go, it wasn’t that deep, less than 1,000 feet, fairly typical of wells from the period. The well at the city’s north water tower, less than half a mile away, extends about 1,600 feet and never showed any pollution issues. The rocket water tower still holds secrets.

It has a labyrinth of pipes below it, interconnecting with the rest of the city’s water system. There was never a guidebook to which valve and pipe did what. Hirsch recalled one Saturday a problem developed under the water tower and city crews turned valves until they stopped the problem. The next morning as people got ready for church, Hirsch said her phone lit up. Some of those valves turned off all the water to the north end of town. Hirsch doesn’t think the city ever

fixed the problem from that night. Crews simply tried to bypass the tower and the well, but the pipes are all still there. The engineer who figured out which went to what left the city’s employ with bad feelings and took his plans with him, she said. There’s a mantra within the Pierce City public works department that you never know what you’re going to find when you dig in the ground there. Many times water infrastructure maps were redone when crews dug to find

Connection Magazine | 41


a line, only to find something else instead. That’s what happens with very old system when the installers are long gone and the maps were drawn decades later. All that is invisible to motorists driving by. What they see is the writing on the tower, painted advertising rising to the top, facing Elm Street. No ads are visible from the alley at rear. At this late date, after a century of weathering, it’s miraculous the black stenciled lettering is visible at all. It seems like the lettering was painted on before the sections rose into place. There’s only one recognizable local name on the tower. Jerry Guinney was a businessman in Pierce City perhaps as early as the late 1880s. Pierce City native and ragtime composer Theron Bennett included a photo in his famous scrapbook of Guinney’s business on the northwest corner of Commercial Street and Walnut, before the Lawrence County Bank was built on that spot in 1892. Typical of many pioneer businessmen, Guinney had his fingers in many commercial vendors. His ad on the water tower advertises diamonds, clocks, watches, jewelry and sewing machines. One of the most visible lower ads is for the St. Louis Dental Company, which promoted “teeth extraction without pain.” Another mostly visible ad is from A. McKinney, offering the services of real estate sales and loan collection. Two other less visible ads appear to promote Charles Stoneman and Company, affiliated with the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association, and W.M. Wagner Brothers, selling “dry goods, boots, shoes etc.” Around 10 other ads peak through the mists of time with only a few letters. The water tower is now owned by Tom Cahalan, who lives adjacent to

42 | July 2019

it on the south side. Cahalan said he wanted the lot behind the tower. A year ago the city put it up for sale—tower, well house and all—and Cahalan bought it. 
Cahalan has no plans for the tower. The city talked of tearing it down numerous times, but always backing away at the cost. Cahalan said he’d like to find an old photo of the tower and restore the ads. The city was supposed

to provide paperwork on ownership to pass to him, but never has. The initial paperwork, he said, didn’t match. He has resigned himself to the possibility that he may never know for sure how old the tower is, just as he’s unsure of whether or not it still holds water. For now, the tower stands, enigmatic, holding its secrets, tantalizing the curious and mystifying the rest. 


Bucket-list-loving author Meagan Ruffing, loves challenging herself to try new things with her kids at least once a week or when she’s had enough coffee to take on the world. She encourages others to do hard things even when they feel like running the other way. For more parenting tips and ideas, visit her on Facebook at writermeaganruffing.

par e n t i ng column

12

FREE THINGS TO DO with Your Kids this Summer

It’s hot. It’s humid. The kids are

3. Library. Every library has some sort of sum-

WHAT’S A MOM TO DO?

4. Hiking. This is something new my kids and

out of school and your budget is limited to one outing a week that does not involve free admission. You’re thick in the middle of summer break, and your kids are whining about being bored while you’re just trying to get them to sleep past 7 a.m.

Well let me tell you. I’m in the thick of a three-kid pile-up, and while I love my laissez-faire days with my bebes…I’m also left scratching my head in the middle of the day when my 10-year-old looks at me and asks, “Mom, what else are we doing today that’s fun?” To help all the other mamas out there (including myself), I’ve come up with 12 simple things to do with your kids this summer that won’t break the bank.

mer reading program. These are actually really fun because your kids can earn prizes and while most of them are cheap little toys that you’ll end up throwing away…some of them are well worth the nagging on your kids to keep reading. This is a great way for you to catch up on that magazine you bought about five months ago but never got to read.

I have recently started doing. It’s way out of all of our comfort zones, but we’re loving every minute of our outdoor adventures. As a newly single mom, my kids have really stepped up to help fill the gaps where they see me needing help.

5. Camping. Another “new to us” thing to

do—and it’s super cheap! Not only did my kids and I conquer something new together…I learned something fun about each one of them. My son Dylan knows how to keep a fire going. My daughter Hannah prefers to stay in the tent to draw, and my little one Ellie thinks every green plant she sees is Poison Ivy. We’ll definitely be doing this one again real soon.

1. Splash Pad. Make a game out of

6. Parks. As long as it’s not too hot outside, go

2. Movies. A lot of local movie theaters

7. Picnic. Keep it simple and gather up those

how many splash pads you can go to in the month of July. You and your kids will probably end up finding a few hidden gems you never knew about.

have some sort of discounted day during the summer. I thought it would be packed when I took my kids last year because the ticket price was discounted extremely low, but I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too bad. Do a quick Google search to find out what is being offered in your area and mark it on your calendar.

ahead and hit the park. My kids and I compile a list of all the local parks and like to see how many we can hit each summer. It’s free and it’s also one of my top tips on how to meet other moms.

Bento boxes for a lunch outside. You can incorporate this into one of your park days or venture out your back door for a change of scenery while you and your little ones snack on cheese and fruit. Turn it up a notch, and let your kids help make their own lunches. This is a great way to introduce them to the new world of “doing it on their own” before back-to-school gets here.

Connection Magazine | 43


Learn a Living JROTC Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, community service, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling self-esteem, teamwork, ad self-discipline. Students will learn personal finance, health and fitness. Mission “to motivate young people to be better citizens.” Instructors are retired military personnel. JROTC is not a recruitment program for the military and participation incurs no military obligation. Students choosing to go into the military have the opportunity of entering at a higher rank after completion of this program, if they choose. LTC Brennan Cook and CSM Garret Spencer are instructors.

To learn more, visit our website at www.monettschools.org/srtc

8. Bake. No one likes to turn the oven

on when it’s 90 degrees outside so save this activity for a rainy summer day. Pull out your grandmother’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or pop in some break n’ bake Pillsbury cookies. Jam out to some music with your kids while you wait for them to cook. Be sure you make enough to keep and give away. Who doesn’t love a sweet surprise?

9. Volunteer. This was one of my

favorite things my kids and I did last summer so we’re going to do it again this year. Ask your friends or put a question out there in Facebook world about the best places to volunteer with kids. Not only will you be able to help other people, but you will be teaching your kids a lesson on giving back. It’s free to do and makes you feel good. It’s a win-win.

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time to catch up with your girlfriends so schedule those coffee dates. Book those early morning chat sessions (because we all know our kids still wake up at 6 a.m. during the summer) and fill your bucket with sound advice and everlasting encouragement from another mama.

11. Board games. Okay. Truth.

This is not my favorite thing to do with my kids, but I do it every now and then because I know they love it. Challenge yourself to (gulp) sit down on the floor with your kids and play at least one game a week with them this summer. Uno, Monopoly, Uno Attack, Memory, and Candyland are a few that we seem to rotate through and are easy enough to get through.

12. Puzzles. I loved doing my kids’

puzzles so much that I splurged on a nice one at Barnes and Noble while my kids were at the weekend story time. I spent $17 on a puzzle with a French-inspired picture that reminded me of my time in Europe. I’ve had a blast teaching my 5-year-old what ‘outside’ pieces are and why it’s important to start with

those first. Every time we sit down to work on the puzzle, I remember a new story from days backpacking western Europe and pretty soon, our puzzle time turns into story time and all three of my kids are staring up at me with saucer-wide eyes. You can’t beat that kind of audience.

44 | July 2019


Not your typical HAIRCUT

Local youth demonstrates giving from the heart Story and photos by Melonie Roberts

A

yden Boarder, 9, of Monett, is not your typical kid. At the age of 7, Ayden started growing his hair long. He was used to being around male family members and acquaintances that sported long locks, so to him, it was no big deal. “My mom, her boyfriend and my uncle all have long hair,” he said. “I’m used to it.” But others of his acquaintance were not. “He’s been bullied, teased, called a girl, and everything else under the sun,” said his grandmother, Laurie Boarder. “When we would be out shopping, people would automatically assume he was a girl. It’s been kind of tough on him. Connection Magazine | 45


For more information on Wigs for Kids, go to:

WIGSFORKIDS.ORG

Aaron Soper, owner of Aaron’s Blades in Monett, let Ayden Boarder take a final look at his Medusa-like ‘do’ before lopping off the first lock for donation “A family member even said he didn’t want Ayden in his wedding because of his long hair,” she said. “But we slicked it back into a low ponytail and it looked great.” Ayden spoke to the brother of the bride, who also had long hair, and at some point during the conversation, he

46 | July 2019

decided to continue growing his hair until it was long enough to donate to charity. “He also knew of my friend, Eden, whose sister, Sara, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 11,” said Chelsee Kingrey, Ayden’s mother. “We talked about what was happening to her as she

was undergoing chemotherapy. Sara is doing OK at the moment, but I think it made an impression on him.” “I think over time, his reasons for donating have changed, but his resolve never did,” said Laurie. So after classes at Monett Elementary School let out for summer break, Ayden and his family motored over to Aaron’s Blades in Monett, where Aaron Soper was preparing for the occasion. “I had never heard of Wigs for Kids,” Soper said. “I’ve cut hair for donations to other organizations, but this one is new for me.” Like other organizations, Wigs for Kids has some guidelines that potential donors must consider when making the decision to grow and cut their hair. For instance, hair must be a minimum of 12 inches in length, clean, dry and not color treated or permed. Hair should be sectioned off in a minimum of four sections and tightly bound with a rubber band. Hair sections should be further secured with rubber bands down the length of the ponytail every two or three inches. Wigs for Kids differs from other organizations in that they never charge the children or the families receiving the custom-made, hand-tied hair replacement. Cost of making a wig is typically $1,800, and the organization relies on both monetary and hair donations to distribute these necessary replacements to children in need. “I researched other organizations,” Chelsee said. “Wigs for Kids is the one


Ayden Boarder’s proud family, from left: Nick Boarder, his dad, Chelsee Kingrey, his mother, Ayden, Brian Boarder and Laurie Boarder, his grandparents, were all on hand for the momentous occasion when Ayden chose to have his hair cut for donation to Wigs for Kids.

that most closely matches our values. I don’t think a child that is going through chemo should have to pay for a wig.” As Soper bound Ayden’s hair into several small ponytails to obtain as much length as possible, creating a Medusa-like effect, Ayden chattered about his plans to grow his hair and donate again. “Aaron gave Ayden his first haircut,” Chelsee said. “He’s kept Ayden’s hair trimmed throughout the past two years as he has been growing it out. It’s just seems right that Aaron is the one to cut it for the donation.” “You’d think a boy who has been teased so much would want to get it cut,” said Laurie. “He is so determined.” As Soper cut the first ponytail,

Ayden knew there was no turning back. “I want there to be enough for a fade,” he told Soper. “We can do that,” he replied. As each banded clump of hair came off his head, Ayden became more verbal and lighthearted. “It feels weird,” he said. “I’ve had long hair for so long. I’m not sure how I feel knowing it’s going to be used to make a wig for some other little kid. But, I’m going to grow it out so I can donate it again.” “I think he is setting an example for other kids and adults on being kind and selfless,” said Brian Boarder, Ayden’s grandfather. “We could all learn from him.” As Soper finished trimming the

“I think he is setting an example for other kids and adults on being kind and selfless. We could all learn from him.” - Brian Boarder, Ayden’s grandfather.

young man’s hair and shaping it into a summer-ready style, Ayden eyed the pile collected on the table. “It feels funny,” he said. “Now, I look like a boy.” As his family congratulated Ayden on the milestone moment, he was anxious to be off to celebrate. “We’re going to have pizza!” 

Connection Magazine | 47


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417-442-3858 48 | July 2019


cu t est kid

Congrats

Will! Will Hendrix, 3-month-old son of Steven and Raschelle Hendrix of Wheaton.

Email your child’s photo to: connection@monett-times.com Photos should be sent in the original JPG format at the highest resolution possible. Remember to include your child’s name, parent’s name, age, city and your contact information. The contest is open to children ages 10 and younger. The photos submitted will be used for the sole purpose of this contest.

Connection Magazine | 49


Famili ar faces

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The inaugural First on Front Street concert, sponsored by First State Bank, for 2019 was held on Friday, June 7, under the Jerry D. Hall Memorial pavilion in the Glen and Sharon Garrett Park at Fifth and Front streets in Monett.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Susan Thomas, Meghan Thomas, KTXR broadcaster Mike Roberts Megan Gonzalez, Gabby Jimenez, Amy Blair, Crystal Mason Michelle Goodson, Luke Courtney Lars Kirkland, Tisha and Byron Osgood Carly and Kyle Baugh, son Oliver in stroller front: Diego Baidon, back: Levi Szydloski, Caden Szydloski

7 5

6 50 | July 2019

8 7. Sandra and Steve Deines 8. Lacob Lawrence, Hailey Francisco, Sarah Wilken

9 9. Melissa Hunt, Bryan Lowery


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The Lawrence County Relay for Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society was held on June 8 in the Mt. Vernon square.

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Matthew Connell, Crystal Mobbley David and Ashley Thomas, Becca Cody Kim and Bill Timmsen Josh Wegrzyn, Brandon Yardley, Shanda Yardley, Ellie Yardley, Chelsea Steele, Averie Amos, Tammy Rhodes, April Standefer, Joanna Hamerlink, Mea Batson, Lynda Painter, Beth Price, Aaron King, Chris Price, Carter Bolger, Kate Hughes, Eric Ackerman at rear Tammy Clark, Lori Boucher, Cheryl Manley Steve Fairchild, Cooki and Mike Norris, Kathy Fairchild front: Emma Smith, Ian Smith back: Beverly Smith, Ron Purgason front: Brooklyn and Carson Casey back: Carl and Trissie Casey

Connection Magazine | 51


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Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Verona hosted its annual Summer Fest on June 8 on the grounds of the church. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Destiny, Melanie, Diana, Lucia, Rosy and Ailyn Reyes Jeremy Gripka, Thiare Mancilla Jaxen, Tabitha and Kauner Ray front: Joselyn and Luke Brisco, back: Jason and Kellie Brisco front: Seth, Ashley and Courtney Freiburger, back: Noah and Trenton Freiburger

52 | July 2019

6. 7. 8.

Anna, Maggie, Christine holding Miguel, Adam and Ruben Perez front: Andrea, Emanuel, Diego and Natalia Perez, back: Armando and Maria Perez Erica, Jasmine and Emberly Lechner

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More than 200 people took the opportunity to support Cox Monett Auxiliary by attending the organization’s annual salad luncheon, held Friday, May 31, at the First United Methodist Church in Monett. With more than 80 salads from which to choose, no diner should have left hungry. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Evelyn Schad, Tami Kruse, and Linda Schad Suzy McElmurry and Barbara Waldbusser Donna and Norm Hammond Ann Caraway and Pat Johnson Lora Lawrence and Melissa Farris Becky Hill and Juanita Hilton Mary and Raymond McMeley Great-great Aunt Jennifer Brown with Presly Gripka Janell Patton and Julie Barnes

Connection Magazine | 53


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6 St. Mary’s Catholic Church hosted its 32nd annual picnic on Sunday, June 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

54 | July 2019

Carolyn and Danny Boman Chere Bowler, Jean Kutz and Linda Zebert Rilynn Cahalan and Travis Cahalan Amanda and Obed Zungura and baby Olive, 2 months Kathy Houck and Hayden Kramer Marjorie Layton, Cindy Witt and Donna James in hot roll heaven Norah, left, and Laura Gouvion Carolyn Danahy, Kathy Willis and Luetta Burton

8


JULY 1 The monthly dance at the Monett Park Casino will be held with Timberline Country band playing. Please bring a snack to share. Notary services available at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. JULY 2 Stamping Up—a card making class, will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell at 10 a.m. JULY 3 Purdy Community Picnic & Fireworks Show will start at 5:30 p.m. There will be food, live entertainment, and a spectacular fireworks show beginning at 9 p.m. Call Julie Terry at 417-236-4139 for more information. Blood pressure checks will be taken at the Cassville Senior Center beginning at 10:30 a.m.

JULY 11 Benefit counseling by appointment at the Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510. JULY 12 Cassville Community Foundation annual fundraising event at Simplicity Lavender Farm at 6 p.m. JULY 13 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612. JULY 15 Notary services available at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Blood pressure checks will be taken at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

JULY 16 Grace Health Services at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call for an appointment 417858-6952.

JULY 4 “Let Freedom Ring” Boat Parade begins at 11 a.m. and the “Fire & Thunder” Fireworks Display will begin around 9:20 p.m. at Shell Knob.

JULY 17 Blood pressure checks will be taken at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

JULY 6 Ice Cream Social will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob from 2-5 p.m. The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612. JULY 9 A computer class will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob at 10 a.m. JULY 10 Grace Foot Care by appointment at Cassville Senior Center. Call 847-4510.

Live music by The Shell Knob Strings will be at the Cassville Senior Center during the lunch hour. JULY 18 The Pierce City Senior Center Dance will hold its regular monthly dance. Birthday Lunch at the Central Crossing Senior Center at 11:15. JULY 20 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612.

J u l y 20 1 9

commu n it y calendar JULY 22 Nell’s Nails begins at 9 a.m. Call 417-858-6952 for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. JULY 23 Big Vision Day hosted by the Cassville Chamber of Commerce from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fire Tire Room at the Emoy Melton Inn & Conference Center at Roaring River State Park. A computer class will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob at 12:45 p.m. JULY 24 WIC at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob. Call 4172114 for an appointment. Nell’s Nails begins at 9 a.m. Call 847-4510 for an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome at the Cassville Senior Center. JULY 26 Birthday Lunch will be served at the Cassville Senior Center beginning from 11 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. JULY 27 The Seligman Chamber of Commerce will host a dance at the Seligman Chamber Event Center at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 each, and attendees are asked to bring a snack to share. No alcohol or smoking is allowed. For more information, call 417-662-3612. JULY 31 Oxford Health talk presented by Susan Rauch will be held at the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob beginning at 11:45 a.m.

Connection Magazine | 55


co n nection on the go Twenty-one family members and friends from the Barry County area visited Gulf Shores, Ala., May 25 to June 1. They included: Tarl McKinney, Lakin Litchy, Lindsey Murphy, Shyla Wall, Kash Davis, Jatha Wall, Jason Stewart, JoAnn Murphy, David Murphy, Jacob Privett, Mark Thomas, Julie Litchy Thomas, Jennifer Wall, Alec Smith, Brian Smith, Jessica Smith, Athena Smith, Jerica Wall, Jordan Privett, Elizabeth Weinreber and Kyle Troutman.

David & Donna Beckett of Monett & Denae Beckett of Springfield attended the NCAA basketball final four tournament in Minneapolis, Minnesota in April

56 | July 2019


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PARTING SHOT White Squirrel in Marionville, Mo., by Mica Plummer

“America is the spirit of human exploration distilled.” -Elon Musk 58 | July 2019


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